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Keywords:

  • nonpoint source pollution;
  • pathogens;
  • point source pollution;
  • total maximum daily loading;
  • water quality

Riebschleager, K.J., R. Karthikeyan, R. Srinivasan, and K. McKee, 2012. Estimating Potential E. coli Sources in a Watershed Using Spatially Explicit Modeling Techniques. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(4): 745-761. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2012.00649.x

Abstract:  The Spatially Explicit Load Enrichment Calculation Tool (SELECT) was automated to characterize waste and the associated pathogens from various sources within a mixed land use watershed. Potential Escherichia coli loads in Lake Granbury watershed were estimated using spatially variable governing factors, such as land use, soil condition, and distance to streams. A new approach for characterizing E. coli loads resulting from malfunctioning on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs) was incorporated into SELECT along with the Pollutant Connectivity Factor (PCF) module. The PCF component was applied to identify areas contributing E. coli loads during runoff events by incorporating the influence of potential E. coli loading, runoff potential, and travel distance to waterbodies. Simulation results indicated livestock and wildlife are potential E. coli contributing sources in the watershed. The areas in which these sources are potentially contributing are not currently monitored for E. coli. The bacterial water quality violations seen around Lake Granbury are most likely the result of malfunctioning OWTSs and pet wastes. SELECT results demonstrate the need to evaluate each contributing source separately to effectively allocate site specific best management practices (BMPs) utilizing stakeholder inputs. It also serves as a powerful screening tool for determining areas where detailed investigation is merited.